Top 10 Most Profitable Items to Scrap in 2023


Source: Unsplash

Scrap material is generally considered useless stuff, and we don’t think to recycle or sell it. You will be glad to know that you can make a lucrative business by recycling scrap metals. With the rise in living costs, many of us need additional income streams to meet our expenses. If you want some extra cash, selling scrap metal and other materials can be an excellent option for you.


According to a strong estimation, in 2023 the scrap metal market value has grown to $70.5 billion. Furthermore, this market value is gradually growing at the rate of 5.5% and is expected to gain a value of $120.3 billion at the end of 2033.

To earn a huge income from a profitable business in the scrap metal industry, you must determine which scrap metals will pay you a lot. Here, we will share the top 10 most profitable items to scrap in 2023.

What Are Scrap Metals?

All discarded or unwanted metal materials are known as scrap metal items. Scrap metal items are generally found in our houses, galleries, and workshops in the forms of:

  • Old appliances

  • Car parts

  • Construction materials

  • Copper wiring

If you pay attention to recycling scrap metals, you can transform them into new items and products. Recycling waste metals helps to reduce the burden on landfills and promotes a cleaner environment.

How to Determine Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals?

To start a scrap material business, it’s crucial to determine ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Identifying them is essential because there is a great difference between the value of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Aluminum brush and copper are included in non-ferrous metals. These metals are frequently used in:


On the other hand, steel and iron are both ferrous metals. These ferrous metals are found in the following:

  • Automobiles

  • Appliances

  • Building materials 

The prices of these metals are based on demand and supply. Non-ferrous metals like copper and aluminum are more valuable because of their high conductivity. By knowing the above difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals, you can maximize your income in the scrap metal business.

10 Most Profitable Items to Scrap in 2023

Are you wondering how to generate money from old items like ferrous metal items and other valuable metals around your home or workshops? First of all, that’s a good idea!

Scrap metal recycling is a fantastic way to make some extra money, whether you collect:

  • Old appliances

  • Car batteries

  • Aluminum cans

Instead of letting your old stuff go to waste, make them useful instead. We suggest you recycle or sell scrap items because the scrap industry is growing. In the below section of this article, we are going to cover the top 10 most profitable items to scrap.

1. Aluminum and Aluminum Cans

Aluminum and Aluminum Cans

Source: Unsplash

Aluminum metal is a widely used metal. It is the most profitable scrap material in the industry. You can find aluminum metal utilized even along the sides of the road. Furthermore, you can find its uses in everyday objects like:

  • Food cans

  • Soda cans

  • Gutters

  • Doors and window frames

If you want to generate huge money by scrapping metal, you should choose aluminum. This is because of its wide adaptability and availability all around. 

You can get $0.25 per pound of aluminum. Additionally, Americans throw away approximately $2 billion worth of aluminum cans annually. But they are valuable scrap metals that can be sold to a scrap dealer. Most people are selling bulk amounts of these aluminum cans to traders because they profit more than selling at stores.

2. Copper Wiring and Copper Tubing Scrap Metal

Your goal of recycling or selling scrap metals is to generate the most money. Copper is another type of valuable and highly-sought after metal, making scrap copper one of the best things to scrap. You can find it easily in:

  • Plumbing pipes

  • Electrical copper wires

  • Construction

  • Electronics

If you are starting a scrap copper business, you must pay attention to trends and keep yourself up to date. So if the prices of copper metal are rising rapidly, you should consider selling copper instead of aluminum metal. With the rising prices of copper, you should recycle as much copper metal as you can. Doing this you can easily generate a few hundred dollars.

3. Brass Metal Recycling

Brass Metal Recycling

Source: Unsplash

Instead of letting it sit around, selling and recycling brass as scrap metal has always been a great way to make extra income. Brass is a valuable scrap metal if it is available in a large collection. It is highly malleable and that’s why it is widely used in products like copper. It is found in many different types of products like:

  • Faucets

  • Light fixtures

  • Keys

  • Door knobs

  • Automobile parts

Hunt down items containing brass that is still in good condition. Brass metals typically have greater worth than new ones. Additionally, brass is usually used with other metals like aluminum. Therefore, you will be required to spend time organizing your collection.

4. Platinum Jewelry

A sign of wealth, platinum is one of the most precious metals. Platinum jewelry is frequently of higher value and is found mostly in the form of:

  • Rings

  • Bracelets

  • Necklaces

  • Earrings

It is worth knowing that to purchase platinum, hundreds of dollars are needed. Scrapping platinum metal has the potential to make large amounts of money. Also, you can easily sell it to scrap traders easily.

Additionally, platinum jewelry is less common than other kinds of jewelry. So, the scrap of platinum jewelry will be recycled in large quantities. That’s why it is a high-in-demand scrap as well as profitable.

5. Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Source: Unsplash

Stainless steel is quite common and not as valuable as other metals. Yet at scrap yards, the most commonly found item is stainless steel. This non-ferrous scrap metal is found in the following items:

  • Antique microwaves

  • Vehicles

  • Old cars

  • Refrigerators

  • Dishes and cutlery

  • Sinks and faucets

Before bringing your stainless steel to a scrap yard, ensure they’re clean because it may cost less if you sell it dirty or in bad condition.

6. Old Tools

Does your garage contain old tools? Do you know that old tools are some of the best scrap metal items? We suggest you sell them as scrap at a local scrap yard instead of throwing them away. These tools may be in the form of:

  • Wrenches

  • Screwdrivers

  • Hammers

The above-mentioned tools are used by those who perform several tasks in building work and home repairs. They are usually higher in demand in the scrapping metal industry because of their versatility. 

7. Make Money From Old and Used Appliances

When you’re looking to scrap for money, don’t ignore used large appliances. Based on the construction material of the appliances, they may be one of the best things to scrap. 

Keep in mind that scrapping large-sized household appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens, etc may need some heavy lifting should you need to bring them to scrap yards or recycling centers.

The most valuable parts of these appliances are often the copper wiring, motors, and compressors. These components can be recycled and sold to scrap yards, where they are then used in the production of new products. So, if you’re looking to make some extra cash, consider collecting old and used appliances and turning them into profit through scrapping.

8. Find and Sell Lead Metal

Find Lead Metal and Sell

Source: Unsplash

Another metal that is used in older items and products is lead. A profitable type of scrap metal, lead is a heavy metal that can be found in:

  • Clocks

  • Pipes

  • Ceiling fans

  • Old jewelry

  • Children’s toys

  • Lamp fixtures

Lead has a high demand and limited supply, which makes it an attractive commodity for scrap dealers. To find lead metal to sell, you can start by looking for old car batteries, as they contain lead plates that can be recycled.

As we have already mentioned, lead is usually mixed with other metals like copper and brass. This mixture of metals makes it difficult to know exactly what you have. If you’re lucky, you may find a significant amount of lead from these items.

Scrap metal prices, including lead prices, vary greatly. Its scrap price could be higher or lower depending on the marketplace trend and demand. According to Bloomberg’s estimation, the price per pound lead range between $0.75 and $0.95

9. Selling Your Old Computer Parts

Got old computers lying around and gathering dust? Old computer parts are some of the best items to scrap for money. Furthermore, computer parts are a common item to find and sell if you want to earn some decent money. You can find them around in some houses.

One of the most valuable components is the processor or CPU. As technology advances, newer and faster processors are constantly being released, making older models in high demand among computer enthusiasts and hobbyists. Additionally, graphics cards and RAM modules can also fetch a good price on the second-hand market.

So to generate some money you should find old:

  • Hard drives

  • Monitors

  • Cables

  • Motherboards

Like other scrap items, the prices of computer parts scrap fluctuates depending on the market demand and supply. Yet according to an estimation, you can earn $0.30 to $0.80 per pound. Moreover, this pricing is highly dependent on the items as well as the specific parts you are trying to sell.

10. Make Money From Your Junk Car

If you have a junk car sitting in your driveway, you may be surprised to learn that it can be a profitable item to scrap. Many scrapyards are willing to pay top dollar for junk cars, as they can salvage valuable materials from car parts, such as steel and copper.

The amount of money you can make from scrapping your car will depend on factors such as its size, condition, and current market prices for scrap metal. To get the most money for your old car, consider calling multiple scrap yards for quotes and comparing their offers.

Additionally, be sure to remove any personal belongings from the car before selling it to a scrap yard. By scrapping your junk car, you make some extra cash, contribute to recycling efforts, and reduce environmental waste.


Scrap metal recycling can be a lucrative venture, especially when you know which items to focus on. We hope our provided information about the top 10 most profitable items to scrap in 2023 may prove beneficial for you. Brass, copper, and aluminum steel are among the most profitable materials in 2023.

By targeting these specific items, you can maximize your profits and make the most out of your recycling efforts. Remember to always research current market prices and stay informed about any changes or trends in the industry.

Finally, scrap metal proves an excellent way to earn additional income. You can easily find several different scrap yards in your area that will collect your items.

If you’re ready to scrap for money, it’s time to get out there and start collecting these valuable items. Happy scrapping!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Scrap Makes the Most Money?

The most valuable scrap metal is copper. The reason is that it may cost $2 to $4 per pound. That’s a substantial sum when it comes to scrap metal, especially when compared to other metals like brass or aluminum.

2. What Appliances Are Among the Most Valuable For Recycling Scrap Metal?

Particularly valuable for scrapping are refrigerators and any devices that depend on plumbing, such as an old, rusty water heater. This is because copper is a common component in many of these items. Moreover, copper wire and plumbing debris are profitable options to scrap for money.

3. What Appliances Have the Most Copper in Them?

The most amount of copper occurs in the following appliances:

  • Microwaves

  • Dishwashers

  • Washing machines

  • Dryers

4. How Can I Make Extra Money Collecting Scrap Metal?

You can make extra money from scrapping business by following the 5 steps:

  1. Before going to the scrap yard, organize your scrap metals.

  2. Hold off until you acquire a sufficient quantity of one type of metal.

  3. If the scrap metal you have requires to be cleaned, call in advance.

  4. Make arrangements for a bigger collection.

  5. Receive payment right away.

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